Formative Assessment vs. Summative Assessment: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

The assessments are conducted to evaluate the knowledge, understanding level, and progress of the individual. In other words, we can say that the assessment is the process of assessing and evaluating the knowledge of one about the certain thing or the field. The assessment has a wider scope, from the educational sector to the different fields of life one is assessed and is further assigned the task on the understanding level him /her possess. For example, one goes for the job of stenographer the assessment of the person is made through the written and the performing test or assessment. In a very same manner, the assessments are used in the teaching field by the educational institutes to make sure the gains of the study to the learners and to check the student’s competency. In the educational sector, there are two types of the assessments or the teaching tools. One of them is the formative assessment and the summative assessment. The formative assessment is the teaching tool which is utilized on a daily basis during the learning process; it is an assessment for the learning that how much has been learned by the learner, and how much more they need to learn. On the other hand, the summative assessment is the teaching tool, which evaluates the learning of the students after the course or term ends.

Comparison Chart

Formative Assessment Summative Assessment
Definition The formative assessment is the tool which is based on the formal and informal assessment methods, which evaluates that how well the process of learning is going up with the students. The summative assessment is the teaching tool, which evaluates the learning of the students after the course or term ends.
Nature Diagnostic in nature. Evaluative in nature.
Intervals The formative assessment is initiated on daily, weekly or the monthly basis. The summative assessment is set of the course, term or the academic year ends.
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What is Formative Assessment?

The formative assessment is the tool which is based on the formal and informal assessment methods, which evaluates that how well the process of learning is going up with the students. The technique of formative assessment is applied on the daily or weekly basis so the trainer can know that what learners have learned and what they are lacking. In other words, we can say that formative assessment is an assessing methodology that is the assessment for the learning.  Through this technique or tool, the course instructor knows that how efficient his/her teaching method is going so far with the students. Most primarily, strong zones and weak zones of the students are assessed, and further latest teaching method is organized to get the concepts of the students;’ clear in the best way possible. With verifying or assessing the learning process through this type of process, one can enhance learning by trying to fulfill knowledge transference to the learner. Homework, class discussion, and quizzes are few of the techniques applied to this type of assessment through which the student are engaged, and the tutor came to know about how well the process of learning has so far gone with the students.

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What is Summative Assessment?

The summative assessment is the technique to evaluate the knowledge and competency of the learner. The summative assessment is organized after the course, term or the education years comes to an end. Through this process, it is evaluated that how well the student knows about the different concepts which he/she were taught during the study period. In other words, we can say that the summative assessment is the assessment of the learning that how well students accepted or learn what they were taught during the academic year. The yearly exams, term tests are conducting by the educational institutes’ administration in order check the knowledge of the students. The scores, marks, and grades are the deciders in the case that how well the student has learned the different concepts taught during the academic year. If the student fails to provide the satisfactory results than the reason this failure or dissatisfaction is also evaluated. The teaching technique to student’s learning credibility is assessed in this case.

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Formative Assessment vs. Summative Assessment

  • The formative assessment is the tool which is based on the formal and informal assessment methods, which evaluates that how well the process of learning is going up with the students. On the other hand, the summative assessment is the teaching tool, which evaluates the learning of the students after the course or term ends.
  • The summative assessment is evaluative in nature while the formative assessment is diagnostic in nature.
  • The formative assessment is initiated on daily, weekly or the monthly basis. Contrary to this,  the summative assessment is set of the course, term or the academic year ends.

Explanatory Video

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